How do your stims change over time/from place to place?

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Joined: 26 Oct 2018
Gender: Female
Posts: 408

28 Dec 2019, 11:00 pm

I don't exactly have a lot of life experience but I've noticed my stims changing as I move from place to place and as I get older.

When I was in primary school I used to play with my hands loads and loved to chew things. I used to chew those wrist bands until the colour leached out of them and they broke, even when my jaw was sore I would continue and frankly, it got quite painful. Looking back it was also super gross. I also used to spin a lot and scratch myself lightly which didn't hurt to me because I have nerve problems but at the time my skin would raise up in the pattern of the scratches and I would stroke it. This freaked my teacher out when she saw me so I stopped. Apparently at a very young age I used to rip my hair out and chew it. I would further chew my hair in primary but I think eventually the hair pulling stopped.

Come secondary school I started fiddling with toys and would flap my hands. I rediscovered my love of chewing and would chew pen lids until they were flimsy and again, lost their colour. My friends got concerned as this habit was giving me a throat infection at least once a month. I also began bouncing my leg and stroking my clothes to cope with stress.

Now I'm in sixth form college and my stims seem to be more obvious than they ever were before. I hit my hands together super fast when I'm stressed, chew gum, stroke my clothes, cannot help but to bounce or jump when I'm happy (luckily this is viewed as odd but cute) and rock back and forth. I also found shining light into my eyes calms me down but it's bad for them so I don't do it, no matter how tempting it is. I get weird looks but luckily people at my college seem to be really nice and understanding so it hasn't become an issue yet.

I find it interesting to see things that stay constant such as an obsession with chewing and stims that are slightly painful. I've always been a bit weird about mouth feel.

Have you noticed any evolution in your stims? Have they gotten more or less noticeable or time? Should I take any info from what I have seen or is it random? I only have one other friend on the spectrum and they are higher up than me so as far as I can tell, it isn't very visible with them. People can tell something is kind of off with me.